Video Storage Tips

Be very aware of where you will be storing your video. Trying to put a camera on the edge of the network and bringing it all the way back to the central station does you no favors — you are simply overloading the network with unneeded video. Instead, store your video as close to the camera as possible. With multiple sites, you should consider a recording device at each site.

Even in a single facility, put a recorder in the closest possible closet to a camera. This lets you isolate video streams to keep them off the general network. Instead, the only video on the general network is the video needing to be viewed.

Do not bother with separate networks. In most cases, using separate networks makes little sense. When installed and maintained properly, a single network should be able to support a considerable amount of video. Why pay again for another network? The term “convergence” means one network — that’s why we are all paying so much attention to it. In the majority of applications, you want to strive for one cable, one set of equipment and one group of people supporting the network.

With analog systems, storage is typically performed on either a stand-alone recorder or a PC-based recorder. Stand-alone recorders are typically lower cost, while PC-based recorders typically provide higher speeds and more features. You need to analyze whether or not you need the increased benefits that the added costs of a PC-based recorder provides. An IP system uses hard drives. Expanding an existing networked IP system is simple. Just add more hard drives to the storage array.

Video storage and management should be done on a software platform on a conventional server. Thus, you need to make sure that the manufacturer of the cameras you use has integration partnerships with VMS providers.

Right now, if you look at most VMS platforms, software is run on a box, which adds a lot of complexity — costly especially for smaller applications. There are places for the current VMS approach, but you may be better served by a near-future line of products that are appliance-based. This means that the servers and software are configured and running on the network.

Mike Capulli is senior vice president of North American Sales for Samsung | GVI Security.